Inside Health

BBC Radio 4


Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice, with the help of regular contributor GP Margaret McCartney


Stress and pregnancy, CBT for insomnia, Cluster headache, Smoking and mental health

March 25th, 2014

Episode 217 of 345 episodes

Dr Mark Porter finds out why insomnia can often go untreated by the NHS despite there being a treatment that not only works but also doesn't involve drugs. There are nearly 11 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets in the UK every year but their effect isn't long lasting and people can find it hard to come off the tablets. Cognitive behavioural therapy has consistently been shown to be very effective at improving sleep in the long term but few people have access to it. Mark is joined by Colin Espie, professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, and by professor Kevin Morgan, director of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University, to discuss why insomnia is so neglected, and to talk about the success of methods to deliver CBT online using mobile and web technology. Also in the programme, Mark talks to Peter Goadsby, professor of neurology at King's College Hospital London, to find out what cluster headaches are, why they're so painful and why they can occur when the clocks change. He also meets Ann McNeil, professor of tobacco addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, to bust the myth that smoking helps bust stress.

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